May 21, 2023
Dominica is a tiny island nation, an independent territory of the United Kingdom, and perhaps almost forgotten by much of the world. It’s tiny. What it offers however is a natural paradise. It is a mountainous rainforest in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
We will spend just a few days here, but during our stop in Portsmouth, where we signed into the country, we had a chance to see the friendly local people, and I had the opportunity to experience the mountains and greenery during a bike ride on Friday and again today on a tour.
Yesterday we decided to move south a bit earlier than expected because we thought it would be easier to rent a car in Roseau. I think that may be true, but we arrived too late to really find anything. We took a nice walk into town and were able to find ‘half-and-half’ cream for coffee finally. But all of the ‘close’ car rental places had been shut down (permanently).
When spending a short time in a small country like Dominica, it is often better to take a tour, and so that is what we decided to do. The tour prices in Roseau were half of what they were in Portsmouth (for the same tour), and we are glad we took the tour.
Driving in Dominica would likely be quite difficult without local knowledge. The roads wind and climb in strange ways and they are very narrow. During our tour, there was a lot to see, and much of that we would have driven right by on a self drive tour. Our guide, Armstrong, was a nice addition to the visual experience.
In particular, he had a background in agriculture, so he was showing us plants throughout the tour which made the tour memorable (nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa, arabica coffee, citronella to name a few things of interest).
The island is very proud of their involvement in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. They talk a lot about where various scenes were filmed and the stars that they interacted with. We will now re-watch those films to see all of the places mentioned and put them into context.
Despite the short visit here so far, there are many stories to tell that would take a long time to write here (what a bike ride! Also a short stop for snorkeling).